Reporting A Dead Marine Animal

The Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS) are currently gathering data on the location and cause of death of marine animals throughout Scotland. They are interested in reports of deal seals, cetaceans, turtles and basking sharks irrespective of the condition of the animal. Photographs of these animals are of particular interest as they can potentially be used to identify the cause of death.

If you find a dead marine animal please take photos (if possible) and contact SMASS on 07979 245 893 or, and provide, with as much detail as possible, the following information:

  • What species is it? If you aren’t sure, take pictures on your phone or camera.
  • Where is the carcass? Give as precise a location as you can give, e.g. how far to the nearest road access and is it above the high tide mark?
  • What size is it? Give an approximate length.
  • How fresh is it? Is it in a good state or a smelly heap of bones? Are parts missing?

This information is also available on the SMASS website.

Do not touch dead marine animals. They are wild animals and may carry diseases which are transferable to humans.

The Comhairle  investigates dead marine animals to determine whether there are public health issues and in many cases will arrange to have them removed if accessible.


For further information, please Contact Consumer and Environmental Services.